Canadian jewellery company Mejuri has responded to the IP infringement lawsuit filed by US-based designer David Yurman alleging that the legal action is “an effort to bully and stifle an emerging competitor”.
PICTURE 1: "Mejuri's "Croissant Dôme Bracelet" and "Croissant Dôme Cuff Bracelet" products, launched around August 2019, 22 directly copy the design elements of the Pure Form® Cable Bracelet Trade Dress"
In documents submitted before the US Southern District Court of New York, Mejuri “did not copy Yurman’s designs”, adding the classic jewellery designs “have been used for centuries— designs that are ubiquitous in the jewellery industry today.”
Mejuri also claimed the Yurman complaint is “replete with unsubstantiated allegations and unnecessary personal attacks on Mejuri and its founders that have nothing to do with intellectual property or Yurman’s alleged concerns.”
The company also claimed that the designs in question were products “independently designed and developed” by Mejuri based on “well-known, common motifs—like twist designs—that have been used in jewellery since at least the Roman Empire”.
Mejuri also denied the likelihood of confusion between its products and Yurman’s as both companies’ products “are never sold in the same stores”, noting that other competitor brands “more well-known than Mejuri” also used similar designs but were never reprimanded by Yurman.
“Yurman apparently has taken no action against these brands and instead has chosen to target Mejuri by bringing an anti-competitive attack on a smaller, but rapidly growing, challenger that is modernising a traditional industry,” the defence stated.
Mejuri’s lawyers also sought to dismiss the trade dress violation charges, claiming it does not infringe and dilute the alleged trade dress in violation of New York General Business Law.
Responding to Mejuri’s counterclaims, Jay Neukom, an attorney for Yurman, told JCK, “It’s common for companies caught copying others’ designs to argue that the design is free for the taking.”
“Mejuri’s weak attempt to excuse its conduct by citing the Roman Empire and its own corporate mission statement does not change the facts. Yurman’s complaint has side-by-side pictures that show how Mejuri’s ‘in-house’ designs mimic David Yurman, Boucheron, and Lagos. We look forward to making this misconduct even clearer as the case proceeds,” he added.
In December 2021, Yurman alleged venture capital-backed rival Mejuri for copying several distinctive jewellery designs that bore striking similarities with Yurman’s Pure Form and Sculpted Cable collections.
The Yurman complaint was filed in the New York Southern District federal court for infringement based on dilution of Yurman trade dress and violations of the state’s business law.
Trade dress is a type of US trademark law that extends to the configuration (design and shape) of a product itself. If the overall image serves to distinguish the source of a product, or service from those of its competitors, one or more elements that make up the trade dress may satisfy the requirements for registration as a trademark.
Yurman sought an injunction against Mejuri for manufacturing products that “infringe” on the specified designs and demand the finished pieces be “melted down.” The company sought redress for unspecified damages.
PICTURE 2: "Additionally, Mejuri's "Croissant Dôme Hoops" earrings blatantly rip off the design elements that comprise the Cable Classics Earrings Trade Dress"